45 Years Ago This Week Elvis Played Wings; Did You See Him?
That picture above, that's the King of Rock and Roll. That's a man around 40, looking good and feelin' fine. And it's the way I choose to remember him, not the bloated caricature he became. Elvis Presley, the King, played Wings Stadium (the venue's name at the time) not once, but twice in the final year of his life.
The first of those two shows was on October 21st, 1976. A fan put the audio of the first hour up on YouTube. The audio quality is not very good, but it's a historical record and might bring back some memories for a fan who was there. It actually brings back a regret for me. I was a college student and Elvis' tour came to Carbondale, Illinois a few nights later, on October 27th, and I chose to pass on going to the show, even though it was within walking distance. A tough lesson learned.
Setlist.fm has the song line up from that night: The show began with a half dozen covers, starting with the See See Rider Blues, then Ray Charles' I Got a Woman, onto an Olivia Newton-John song and a Marty Robbins classic before tearing into Jailhouse Rock. He then alternated his own songs with different covers, from Don McLean to Gordon Lightfoot and finally back to Ray Charles, and Chuck Berry's School Days. (yes, really). The final songs of the night were Blue Christmas (see, even then people got out the Christmas stuff early) and finally, Can't Help Falling in Love with You.
For what it's worth, and it wouldn't matter to any Elvis fan, but the April 26th, 1977 was pretty much identical, except for a few different Elvis hits in the mix.
Elvis toured until almost the end of his life. His last show was June 26th in Indianapolis, and he died on August 16th, 1977. I wish I had seen him.